Atlas Butler Awards February winners

Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling, White Castle, and ThisWeek Community News are recognizing exemplary students who represent their school and community by demonstrating hard work and strength of service.

Throughout the 2012-13 school year, Atlas Butler’s panel of judges will select 10 monthly nominees, who will be featured in their respective ThisWeek communities. A $250 award will be provided in the student’s name to a local classroom of the teacher of the nominee’s choice.

All selected monthly nominees are featured on ThisWeekNEWS.com. Eighty students will be finalists this year and will become eligible for an annual scholarship: three Atlas Butler students of the year, $2,500; five first-place winners, $1,000 each; and 15 honorable mentions, $500 each. To read other students’ profiles or to nominate your student, visit www.AtlasButlerAwards.com. Nominations close on the 15th of each month. Help our panel decide winners each month on Facebook from the 17th to the 23rd of each month.


Brittany Thomas
Senior at St. Francis DeSales High School
Nominated by: Betty Andrus
Teacher of winning classroom: Betty Andrus

As founding French Club president, Brittany organized coupon collection for military families overseas. She collected over $25,000 in coupons, two years in a row. Brittany also organized fund-raising activities to benefit local organizations including Humane Society and YWCA.

 

Naomi Barker
Senior at Worthington Kilbourne High School
Nominated by: Brianna Abbott
Teacher of winning classroom: Lisa Mullen

With a joyful sprit and a kind heart, Naomi Barker loves people and puts forth a significant effort to make this world a better place. Whether playing on the soccer team, serving as an editor for the yearbook, spearheading the prom fashion show, facilitating mentor groups for new students, organizing events with student council or volunteering to help with any task needed, Naomi leads not only with her words, but with her actions.

Recently, Naomi was eating at Panera Bread when she overheard an elderly woman ask the manager for help finding her car. The manager was unable to leave the store so Naomi volunteered to help this woman, a total stranger, locate her car.

This compassionate act is what I have come to expect from Naomi. She is warm and gracious and has a generous spirit that translates into real caring for others with whom she comes into contact. Outside of school she has dedicated over 100 hours of service at Riverside Methodist Hospital, as well as volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and at the food pantry. Naomi is an intelligent (over 4.0 GPA), hard working, caring, and resourceful individual who brings a high energy level and positive attitude to all of her school and community involvements.

 

Corrinne Bailey
Senior at Hilliard Davidson High School
Nominated by: Christina Wargas
Teacher of winning classroom: Janet Sohl

Corrinne keeps her 4.0+ GPA, while also spending 11 hours per week at the dance studio. Corrinne's love of dance inspired Giving with Grace, a student choreography dance benefit that chooses a new charity each year.

The kids use their Christmas break to choreograph and rehearse their performances. Last year, the kids raised $4,000 for Komen Columbus and this year, they raised more than $4,500 for St Jude by selling tickets, posters and t-shirts. In addition, Corrinne spends most of her Saturday nights visiting and feeding the homeless and this summer, she'll be taking her second trip to the Dominican Republic to help build schools and hospitals, and of course, teach dance.

 

Jacob Murphy
Senior at Columbus Downtown High school
Nominated by: Anita Mobley
Teacher of winning classroom: Mrs. Ohearn

My son has worked hard to help people in the community. He has served at the church’s food pantry every Saturday morning for three years. He helps out at the church and is always willing to help someone in need.

I am very proud of his heart for service. He played in the high school band for two years, and truly enjoyed music and being a part of a team. He switched to career high school to work on computers so that he can develop his passion. He has explored careers with people in the community and has decided he wants to continue using his skills to fix computers for single mothers in the future.

 

Lindsay Michalkiewicz
Senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School
Nominated by: Laura Thomas
Teacher of winning classroom: Laura Thomas

It is my complete pleasure to recommend Ms. Lindsay Michalkiewicz for your consideration as an Atlas Butler Scholarship recipient. Through her years of dedicated service, Lindsay has made a tremendous positive impact on many levels. Lindsay's involvement has improved individual lives and has greatly benefitted our school community. She also contributes to the Gahanna/Columbus area community, and has acted on a global level as well. Her array of involvement includes whole-hearted dedication to our special needs students here at Gahanna Lincoln High School and Gahanna Middle School West.

As a Student Aid, Lindsay works with students on a daily basis who are challenged by multiple disabilities. Her patience, dedication, and compassion for people comes across in every aspect of her work as she strives to help these students reach their potentials. Lindsay is also leader of the Happy Hands Sign Language Club. She has made it her prerogative to learn Sign Language on her own in order to better communicate with current students and to enhance her future career as a Special Education Teacher. In addition, Lindsay volunteers for Gahanna Peace Lutheran's Bible study for people with multiple disabilities and she volunteers for the annual "Spread the Word to end the Word" campaign.

She also coaches for the Special Olympics. However, Lindsay's community involvement reaches far outside the realm of Special Education. In addition, she has worked with Habitat for Humanity, and has served the homeless population through involvement with both Interfaith Hospitality Network and H.O.P.E. Lindsay also acted as leader and creator of "Camp Mission", a summer Bible camp for neighborhood children.

Through various activities, Camp Mission raised about $1,000 to donate to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Juvenile Diabetes Association, and Alex's Lemonade Stand. Finally, Lindsay has given her time to the Marietta, Ohio food pantry, she volunteered with the Red Cross on a mission trip to New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, and most impressively, she traveled to Santa Cruz, Bolivia as part of a medical mission/ church building brigade.

In the midst of her volunteerism, Lindsay challenges herself with a difficult course load at school by taking Honors and Advanced Placement classes. Through diligent habits and perseverance, she maintains an "A" average in her high school career. Lindsay is a remarkable young lady in every aspect. It is with great honor that I recommend to you.

 

Abigail Nypaver
Senior at Metro High School
Nominated by: Jean Pontones
Teacher of winning classroom: Mr. Peter DeWitt

Abigail (Abbie) has been a volunteer at the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library since 2007 and has donated 113 hours to her community. During the summers, Abbie helped with the Summer Reading Club program. She registered customers for the program, explained the program, and handed out incentives. An important part of her responsibilities was to encourage young readers to continue reading throughout the summer.

She always showed enthusiasm when working with young readers; she listened to their stories and praised them for their hard work. Abbie also volunteers during the school year for special programs. One of the programs that she always helps with is Whetstone's annual Duckling Day program.

This program attracts hundreds of participants and includes a parade, crafts, and a puppet show. Abbie was always willing to help out where she was needed, including playing a duck one year. Abbie's hardwork and dedication to serving her community made her a terrific asset to Whetstone's Volunteer team.

 

Jessica Xu
Senior at Dublin Scioto High School
Nominated by: Wei Liu
Teacher of winning classroom: Mr. Mathy

Jessica dedicates much of her time to a community service club at her school called Key Club. As an active member of Key Club for all four years of high school, she leads this service organization as she was elected president this school year. She has led many service projects such as fundraising for an organization called KIVA by selling friendship bracelets during school lunch and holding bake sales.

Jessica has also taken apart in the Santa Breakfast for three consecutive years. This pancake breakfast helps to raise money and collect donations to provide needy families in the community with jackets and other various supplies through the wintertime.

By far, her favorite activity is collecting canned food items during trick-or-treat night and competing with her friends to see who can get the most donations for the food pantry. She always stuffs her pockets with candy as she carries loads of cans to the car! I always see Jessica devoting her time, selflessness, and generosity to serving others. Weekend after weekend she fills her schedule with volunteer activities such as playing tennis with children with Down syndrome or collecting canned goods for the Dublin food pantry. Through her powerful dedication and passion for serving others, I believe she would be a great candidate for this scholarship.

 

Leslie Turner
Senior at Eastmoor Academy
Nominated by: Cathy Thompson
Teacher of winning classroom: Amanda Looney

Leslie is a member of our Youth Advisory Council of the Columbus Medical Association Foundation, where the members learn about philanthropy and participate in all aspects of grant making.

Leslie, a high school senior, has a 4.0 GPA. In 2012 she was inducted into the National Honor Society and earned the Eastmoor Academy’s Principal’s Learning Award.Her community activities are equally commendable. She was honored with the 2012 Inspirational Youth Award, The President's Volunteer Service Award, Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award, and the Columbus Rotary Service Above Self Award.

Her volunteer activities include: eye examiner at the Physician's Free Clinic, food server at various homeless shelters, Eastmoor Academy mentor and tutor, after school tutor with the Ohio Hispanic Coalition, and she has raised over $3,000 for breast cancer research.

Recently Leslie organized several service projects. In one project, she created activity books with all wording and activities in Spanish, and had them shipped to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.She created “Coloring Care for Kids/Health Fun”, an activity/coloring book focused on health, that she personally delivered to children at a local shelter. She also co-chaired "Give a Teen a Hug", an initiative at Eastmoor High School to collect hygiene products and winter apparel for homeless teens in central Ohio. Lastly, she collaborated with the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless and The Huckleberry House to participate in the teen homeless count.

 

Rohit Joshi
Junior at Dublin Coffman
Nominated by: Deepak Joshi
Teacher of winning classroom: Donna Parker

Rohit loves to give back to the community and is involved in many service projects. He helps teach children with Down syndrome how to play tennis, and travels to Wright Elementary every Friday after school to do activities with the students there.

Rohit is very involved at the COSI Science Center and has amassed 700+ hours volunteering there. He has worked his way up the ladder to become a Floor Faculty Lead Volunteer and a Camp-In Intern, teaching experiments and shows to up to 150 guests at a time.

This past year Rohit taught an online tutoring class for MATHCOUNTS, the premier math competition for middle school children. He taught through the North South Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for needy students in India. His class met every Saturday evening for 4 months, and consisted of 15 students, some of whom were at the national math level.

Rohit also recently created a Facebook page called Coffman Compliments in which students at his school could send anonymous compliments to their peers. It caught on like wildfire and the page amassed 1,200 friends, with thousands of compliments posted.

The page sparked similar pages in schools around the area and has been covered by The Columbus Dispatch as well as NBC4. He will be speaking at the eTech conference later this week about the importance of social media and cyber bullying.

Rohit is a great asset to this community and I believe he would make a great candidate for this award.

 

Maria Riley
Junior at St. Francis DeSales High School
Nominated by: Tracey J. Moose
Teacher of winning classroom: Tracey J. Moose

Maria is an outstanding young woman. She has been volunteering in the Family Resource Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital every Sunday for over two years. Maria helps the families that have children in the hospital by guiding them through the hospital and bringing them supplies they may need for their stay. She is one of the most cheerful people I have ever met with a very infectious smile. I have no doubt that she is perfectly suited for this type of volunteer work.

Maria's work at Nationwide Children's Hospital is very important to her due to a serious illness she contracted when she was a child. When she three years old, Maria contracted bacterial meningitis. Nationwide's quick diagnosis and response was crucial to her survival. Maria wants to give back to the hospital because she feels that she owes her life to the doctors and nurses of that institution that were so dedicated to her recovery.

It is quite remarkable that Maria is able to dedicate so much time to this volunteer activity. Maria's academic and soccer schedules are very full. In fact, she attended her orientation at Nationwide Children's Hospital on the same morning as her high school state championship soccer game, rather than reschedule.

In addition to her volunteerism, Maria maintains a rigorous academic schedule and a 4.357 GPA. She is also involved in student council, peer ministry, student ambassadors, and our drug awareness and prevention program TACK. She is hoping to study biology and medicine in college.

 

 

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